Transposition of the great arteries (TGA) is the most common cyanotic (low blood oxygen) congenital heart defect.
Normally, the pulmonary artery comes off the right ventricle to pump deoxygenated (less oxygen content) blood to the lungs to get oxygen, while the aorta comes off the left ventricle to pump oxygenated blood from the lungs to the rest of the body.
In TGA, the arteries are switched. The aorta comes off the right ventricle and pumps deoxygenated blood to the body while the pulmonary artery comes off the left ventricle and pumps deoxygenated and oxygenated blood to the lungs.
To survive without intervention, there must be an additional defect that will allow the right and left side of the heart to communicate so that blood can mix. This defect can either be an atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, or a patent ductus arteriosus.
This condition occurs predominantly in males, with a 90 percent mortality rate within the first year of life if left untreated. Like most congenital heart defects, the cause is unknown.
Symptoms such as cyanosis, a bluish color to the skin, usually appear at birth or shortly after birth. The severity of the symptoms depends on the size and type of the defects and how much oxygen moves through the body.
Other common symptoms include:
Your UT Southwestern Medical Center doctor may perform several tests to diagnose transposition of the great arteries. Common diagnostic tests include:
To schedule an appointment with a transposition of the great arteries expert at UT Southwestern's facilities in Dallas or for more information about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.